Careers in graphic communications can encompass more than art and design. MakeYourMark.org, a website providing education and job information to those interested in careers in the graphic communications industry, notes that available positions attract those with writing, business, and technical skills, along with designers.
The production process begins when a copy writer creates the text for the piece to be printed. Copy writers need to be precise and accurate, and have a firm grasp of the language. Employment for copy writers can be found in advertising and public relations firms, as well as corporate communications departments. Some copy writers develop a speciality, such as writing documentation manuals for computer software. Median wages for copy writers in 2008 were £34,495 according to the Occupational Information Network.
A graphic designer's job is to come up with a concept and overall style for a piece to be printed, be it an annual report, a flyer or a brochure. Today, much of graphic design is computer-based, but it is still important for designers to have a solid grounding in traditional design principles. They also need to bring attention to detail to their work. Median wages in graphic design in 2008 were £27,560.
Illustrators develop artwork such as charts, graphs or drawings to enhance the written words. Some illustrations are hand-drawn, but others are created completely on the computer. Illustrators need knowledge of tools used in the craft, from computer software programs to more traditional tools such as paints and brushes. In 2008, median wages in this field were £27,722.
Electronic Prepress Technician
A variety of functions are the responsibility of a prepress technician, such as scanning images and creating the plates from which documents are printed. Today's prepress technicians need strong computer skills, as much of their work is done digitally, using powerful computers with extensive file storage for saving images and proofs. In 2008, median annual wages were £22,769 for these professionals.
Organizational skills are the hallmark of a print buyer, whose job entails working under deadline and contacting various vendors to get their bids on specific jobs. Vendors can include writers, designers, printers and photographers. The buyer generally awards the job to the vendor who can provide the buyer with the quickest turnaround or lowest price. The print buyer maintains constant communication with the vendors until the job is completed. Print buyers' median wages in 2008 were £31,661.
The production manager oversees print projects, ensuring that each piece arrives where it should and at the proper time. Production managers need to be organised and have the ability to predict and troubleshoot problems in the production process, as well as remain calm as deadlines approach. The job of a production manager requires dealing with all the members of a print production team. ONet states that median annual wages for production managers was £32,786.